Elk attacks 8-year-old girl in Colorado

DENVER (KDVR) — A cow elk with a newborn attacked an 8-year-old girl Thursday in Colorado, wildlife officials said.

It happened around 1 p.m. as the girl rode her bike in a neighborhood in Estes Park, according to a release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“The female elk started charging the girl from approximately 60 yards away,” the release said. “The elk caught up to the victim and stomped on her multiple times.”

The girl was treated at a hospital and released later in the day.

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Sign that says "Warning aggressive elk in area, pets may be at risk even on leash"
Sign that says "Warning aggressive elk in area, pets may be at risk even on leash"

A wildlife officer returned to the area of the attack and hazed the elk with a non-lethal bean bag round when she became aggressive, helping dissipate the behavior, the release said. The officer monitored the elk for several hours and returned on Friday to take the calf and transport it to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife lab, where it will be in the care of veterinarians and wildlife specialists.

Signs warning of aggressive elk have since been placed in the area.

Elk calving season underway in Colorado

Elk calving season runs from late spring to early summer in Colorado, state wildlife officials said, meaning an increased risk of conflicts for people and pets as the animals protect their calves.

People are reminded to leave young wildlife alone, even if they are alone, as their mother may have only gone away in search of food. Pets should be on leash at all times to avoid conflicts.

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